The MP for Dagenham has urged the town hall's regeneration company to make sure the community does not "fall victim" to a controversial development.

Jon Cruddas has written to Be First managing director, Pat Hayes, over concerns raised by neighbours near Padnall Lake, Marks Gate, where 300 homes could be built.

The concerns include overshadowing, congestion, the affordability of the homes and whether Marks Gate residents get first refusal.

Barking and Dagenham Post: Land around the lake is up for development.Land around the lake is up for development. (Image: Marks Gate Padnal Views Action Group)

Mr Cruddas said: “In my representation to Be First I have also suggested the possibility of internal improvements for the Padnall Road flats.

"As with all regeneration of this scale, the community should be brought with the project rather than feeling like they have fallen victim to it.

"Although I must say, on the face of it this appears to be one of the better developments of the last few years.”

Barking and Dagenham Post: A computer generated image showing what some of the homes could look like.A computer generated image showing what some of the homes could look like. (Image: Be First)

Mr Hayes said: “We have listened carefully to residents and understand and will ensure their concerns over traffic and the environment are fully addressed.

“The development will enormously improve the neighbourhood and provide affordable homes to which local people will be given priority at rents from £159 per week."

A Be First spokesperson added assessments ensured parking and traffic would be well managed along with improvements to bus services and shelters.

He said all homes will be affordable and locals on the housing register would get priority, with the need for homes in the area a major factor in pursuing the project.

Existing homes will see changes too, including new kitchens, bathrooms and boilers.

In total, 81 dwellings are to be built. Outline planning permission for 219 more was granted by town hall chiefs in November.

Mr Cruddas said: “There have been a number of rumours circulating in the community that there are plans to damage or negatively alter Padnall Lake.

"However, having seen the plans and spoken with council members, I feel reassured the development seeks to enhance the environmental footprint of the area.”

Mr Hayes said: "A big part of the project is to improve the quality of the open space to turn what was a run off pond for the A12 into a proper lake with trees and habitats residents can really enjoy living near.”